Comments: 12
Darth Pedant 3 years ago
It's been years since I read this, but I think I remember the pace picking up a bit after they meet. And then it slows down again. And then it picks up again, and so on. The uneven pacing was my biggest complaint, and I remember wishing the book had been split into two.
Murder by Death 3 years ago
Ha! I've been thinking that for awhile now too - it would have been better as two books instead of one big brick.
I think if this were two books instead of one, I'd never have been compelled to pick up the second half, and I'd have DNF'd book 1. I loved the beginning and the basic world building, but the pacing stopped working for me somewhere in the first 30% of the book. Fortunately it started working again towards the end -- but I really only got there because it was *one* volume and I figured "so many people I trust loved this, I might as well finish it to see what they're going on about". If it had been two books, I'd just have thought, "oh well, I'm apparently the odd one out here -- but if I can't even get through the first book, I'm definitely not buying the second one, only to never open it!"
Darth Pedant 3 years ago
Understandable. It's a slog, no doubt about that. I ultimately decided in the end that I'd enjoyed the slog, but I don't judge anyone who dislikes or DNF's this ponderous kitten-squisher.
I've yet to see the TV adaptation, but I'm wondering if it had made a difference to me to have watched the TV thing first ... and maybe then have the book narrated to me as an audio book, instead of slogging through the middle part (especially) myself. I notice that for really hefty volumes, audiobooks seem to work better for me than print versions; and sometimes (albeit only in rare instances), it also helps if I've watched and liked a book's screen adaptation. Though as a rule I try to read the book before watching the adaptation (and if it's not essentially faithful to the book, I spend most of the time yelling at the screen -- either loudly, if at home, or inside my head, if at a movie theatre).
Murder by Death 3 years ago
There was a TV adaptation?

@DP: I'd have used puppy-squisher myself ... ;-)

My thought with the two books was that the editing would have been a bit more take-no-prisoners, and the packing of both halves would have been better.
Darth Pedant 3 years ago
I saw the TV mini series last month, and it's been long enough since I read the book that I couldn't tell how much they'd changed, so I can't offer a solid book vs adaptation opinion. But I can say I enjoyed the mini series enough that I binged all 7 episodes in one day and would happily watch it again.

@MbD: The mini series is currently available for free streaming on channel 7's website. Link if you're interested: https://7plus.com.au/jonathan-strange-and-mr-norrell
Murder by Death 3 years ago
Ah - thanks PD, I am interested. I might even have the 7 app already.
Murder by Death 3 years ago
Watched the first episode tonight: it's pretty faithful so far, although they conflate the two stores, which is weird. My only complaint is that they're making Mr. Norrell WAY too sympathetic - I feel sorry for him!
Darth Pedant 3 years ago
I suppose sacrifices had to be made to fit the story into 7 hours. I found Mr. Norrell too sympathetic at first too, but that changed. I thought his character arc in the show was done fairly well, but after ten years I can't remember how it compares to his arc in the book. I'll be very interested in your overall opinion.
Murder by Death 3 years ago
Oh, good - I think. I don't dislike Mr. Norrell in the book, but I don't find him sympathetic either. Who I do like better in the show is Childermass; he's got a great Kiefer Sutherland voice going on, and he's not as greasy looking as the book makes him sound.
Darth Pedant 3 years ago
Agreed. TV Childermass was a pleasant surprise for me. I started seeing him as kind of an underdog and became his one-woman cheering section.